Where’s The Disgust, Jack?

070417_PB_Shooter.gifSlate’s Jack Shafer promised yesterday that the world would be tsk-tsking journalists today for stooping to new lows in covering the heartache surrounding the Virginia Tech massacre.

“Everybody is too busy right now consuming the Virginia Tech slaughter coverage to accuse the press of going overboard. But come tomorrow, those accusations will gather speed, and damnation will be heaved at specific journalists and media organizations for their excesses. Stories, interviews, headlines, opinion columns, and even anchor chatter will be judged as cruel and intrusive.”

Shafer specifically mentions solicits by ABC and NBC on Facebook and MySpace, requesting on-camera interviews with Virginia Tech students. He predicts people will spit in the face of reporters who try these techniques.

Apparently, he was wrong. Sure, TV news gets it wrong. Insensitively so. But so far, the “outcry” has been limited to a few Web sites. Instead, some are calling TV news a form of “therapy.”